CHARLESTON – Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, released the following statement in response to Gov. Jim Justice’s press conference today:
“Since November 8, this Governor has consistently promised the sky and delivered the rain. He pledged to our citizens that he would balance a budget without raising taxes. He did not. He pledged to our citizens that he would step up and handle his own outstanding tax burden. He has not. He pledged to the Legislature that he would deliver a budget that would make the kinds of tough cuts that would be needed to get this state back on a course to prosperity. He has not. He said he had found the money necessary to prevent a ‘raid’ on the Rainy Day fund. He has not.
While the House and Senate met on the floor for the 42nd day in a row, our Governor held another press conference to complain about the Legislature, make threats, and scare the public into believing the sun will not rise if the Legislature will not grant him his massive $450 million tax increase.
Today, while the Legislature continued its work, the Governor called us cowards, described his meetings with legislative leadership as producing ‘nothing,’ threatened to shut down the government outright if he does not get his way, and, perhaps in the most out-of-touch move to date, declared his intent to turn on the State of Emergency lantern in the top of the Capitol dome. In further drawing his line in the sand, he said he would be downstairs every morning in his ‘war room,’ and the Legislature could come to him to work.
There is no question about it: This Governor has declared war on the taxpayers of the state of West Virginia by demanding that they absorb the costs of his desire to grow government.
Governor Justice has repeatedly asked both the public and the Legislature to ‘trust him,’ and to ‘judge him by his deeds.’ The deeds this Governor today show a person who is dangerously unprepared to lead this state, and someone who has a deep disrespect for constitutional government and the hardworking, taxpaying citizens who elected him. This Legislature will not stand by and allow the taxpayers to be used as collateral, or to be disrespected any longer.”